Conference Close-up: Using Questionmark to Reinforce Learning within SharePoint

Posted by Joan Phaup

Questionmark Chairman John Kleeman

We’re especially pleased to have Questionmark Founder and Chairman John Kleeman on board as one of our best practice presenters at this year’s Questionmark Users Conference. As the person who wrote the original Questionmark software, John has more than 20 years’ experience in the learning industry and has participated in several industry standards initiatives. Lately he has been turning his energies to interfacing with other thought leaders and understanding the dramatic changes that are taking place in how people learn and the increasingly important role assessment is playing within learning.

John’s conference presentation on Using Questionmark Perception to Make SharePoint an Effective Learning Platform will show how participants can use Questionmark assessments within SharePoint to measure and reinforce learning, using both products out of the box. Here’s a quick Q&A about his plans for that session:

Q: Could you talk a little about SharePoint and its growing role in learning, training and compliance?
A: The great thing about SharePoint is that it’s a really easy system for putting together websites, without needing programmers. If you want to put up learning material or training material it’s easy to do so with SharePoint. And at least half of companies and universities already have SharePoint, so it’s easy for people to make things happen quickly.  With the improvements in SharePoint 2010, in blogs and wikis, and with stronger version tracking making it more useful for compliance, there’s growing application of SharePoint in learning and training.

Q: How do you envision Questionmark enhancing learning for SharePoint users?
A: There’s a lot of evidence that people who answer questions after learning something tend to remember it better; that if you take a quiz then it gives you retrieval practice to stop you forgetting what you have learned. By embedding an assessment on a learning page you allow people to get retrieval practice, and you can also check their comprehension of what they have been read. They can check their own knowledge, and you can also look at the aggregate results to see how well people have understood something. If you see a question that people consistently get wrong, you can identify misconceptions and improve the content. This takes very little work, so putting Questionmark assessments on a page in SharePoint or other systems is a fantastic combination.

Q: How could Questionmark be used to measure social learning within SharePoint?
The majority of what people learn happens on the job and in learning from colleagues and mentors, not in formal learning. It’s social learning. SharePoint is so prevalent in many organizations that it’s a great way to share news and information or process documents. Putting a knowledge check on a page is a great way to see how much people are absorbing. Breaking up larger assessments into smaller chunks that relate to specific parts of a page is a great way to reinforce this kind of learning – just-in-time and just-enough assessments.  SharePoint is a set of building blocks that you can put together to help learning, and you can just mash in assessments to fit your needs.

Q: How easy is it for someone to incorporate a Questionmark assessment within SharePoint? What tools make this possible?
A: If you’ve got Questionmark Perception version 5, it’s really easy, because of the auto-sensing and auto-sizing capability. Perception can sense the size of the frame it’s running in and automatically fit an assessment into the space. You just use SharePoint to determine the size of the frame or window you want to use and put the Questionmark quiz into that space. SharePoint is an end user tool, so people can just configure SharePoint in a browser and put things together themselves.

Q: Have you come across any interesting examples of assessments being used with SharePoint?
A: I think a lot of people are finding that putting training programs into SharePoint saves them a lot of money. I found one example of a large company that had a training program that would have cost them $600,000 to provide face-to-face. In SharePoint it cost $45,000. It’s a very practical system to get something up and running within a few days.

Q: What do you expect participants  to gain from this session?
A:  I’d love participants to be able to go back to their organizations, find their SharePoint installation and start putting assessments into it. You don’t have to be a technical wizard to do this. It doesn’t require help from IT. It doesn’t require technical skills, you can just go do it.  Anyone who comes to the session, I promise they will know how to put an assessment into SharePoint.

Take advantage of the early-bird registration discount and save $100 by registering for the conference by January 21st.

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